It is somewhat interesting (and maybe/maybe-not surprising?) that the lowest 20% of households can still afford to spend, on average, ~38% on discretionary items. Since that is average, some are probably spending far less, and some far more than that on discretionary.
That's not exactly living hand-to-mouth, which is what I think the media portrays sometimes? That would be near 0% discretionary, no?
And this probably actually understates the delta between high/low incomes. At first glance, the % differences didn't seem that extreme to me, but clearly, the 'essentials' that make up ~42% of a high income person will typically include much nicer 'food and shelter' than the low income group. I think the low income group would look at most of those 'essentials' as 'discretionary'.
Yes, it's interesting. Thanks for posting.
-ERD50 (who should take a break from posting/reading and do his taxes!)